Ian LaBlance is from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. He graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1990 and joined the US Navy. In the Navy, he served 22 years as an Electronics Technician (ET) and retirement from the Naval Reserve in 2015. Some of the units he served in include USS Ponce LPD-15, MIUWU 201 (Toledo, OH), 203 (Bronx, NY in Crete, Greece) and 214 (Buffalo, NY), Navy Mobilization Processing Site, Gulfport, MS. And Expeditionary Maintenance Det. G, Great Lakes, IL. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Education with from Western Michigan University in 2001 and received a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture in 2004. He also received an Associate in Applied Science in Digital Media form the College of Lake County in 2013.
Ian has always been a very creative person and has worked in many educational and creative positions. He has worked as a Stained Glass Workshop assistant for Willet Hauser Architectural Glass in Philadelphia, PA. and as a Studio Technician/Part Time Instructor at Fleming College’s Haliburton School of the Arts + Design, in Haliburton Ontario. In 2008, he moved to Chicago and worked as a Metal Fabricator for SVI Themed Construction Solutions, Inc. in Morton Grove, IL working on projects for the Shred Aquarium, the Phoenix Zoo’s “Little People” Discovery Farm and American Girl Store Chicago. From 2013 to 2015, he worked as a Craftsman/CNC Operator in Potbelly Restaurants Warehouse designing and building décor to Potbelly’s new and renovated restaurants. In 2015 he started working as a Building Manager Assistant on Great Lakes Naval Base, IL. and in October of 2018, Ian excepted the Exhibit Specialist position for the National Museum of the American Sailor also on Great Lakes Naval Base. As Exhibit Specialist, he will be designing and fabricating the museum’s new exhibits, designing advertising and promotional materials for the museum and assisting in the museum’s building restoration.